In recent years, wind energy has become one of the most economical renewable energy technology.

Today, electricity generating wind turbines employ proven and tested technology, and provide a
secure and sustainable energy supply. At good, windy sites, wind energy can already successfully
compete with conventional energy production
[1]
. Many countries have considerable wind resources,
which are still untapped.

A technology which offers remarkable advantages is not used to its full potential:
 Wind energy produces no greenhouse gases.

 Wind power plants can make a significant contribution to the regional electricity supply and to
power supply diversification.
 A very short lead time for planning and construction is required as compared to conventional
power projects.
 Wind energy projects are flexible with regard to an increasing energy demand - single turbines
can easily be added to an existing park.
 Finally, wind energy projects can make use of local resources in terms of labour, capital and
materials.

The technological development of recent years, bringing more efficient and more reliable wind
turbines, is making wind power more cost-effective. In general, the specific energy costs per annual
kWh decrease with the size of the turbine notwithstanding existing supply difficulties.
Many African countries expect to see electricity demand expand rapidly in coming decades. At the
same time, finite natural resources are becoming depleted, and the environmental impact of energy
use and energy conversion have been generally accepted as a threat to our natural habitat. Indeed
these have become major issues for international policy.
[2]

Many developing countries and emerging economies have substantial unexploited wind energy
potential. In many locations, generating electricity from wind energy offers a cost-effective alternative
to thermal power stations. It has a lower impact on the environment and climate, reduces
dependence on fossil fuel imports and increases security of energy supply
[3]
.

For many years now, developing countries and emerging economies have been faced with the
challenge of meeting additional energy needs for their social and economic development with
obsolete energy supply structures. Overcoming supply bottlenecks through the use of fossil fuels in
the form of coal, oil and gas increases dependency on volatile markets and eats into valuable foreign
currency reserves. At the same time there is growing pressure on emerging newly industrialised
countries in particular to make a contribution to combating climate change and limit their pollutant
emissions.

In the scenario of alternatives, more and more developing countries and emerging economies are
placing their faith in greater use of renewable energy and are formulating specific expansion targets
for a „green energy mix‟. Wind power, after having been tested
for years in industrialised countries and achieving market maturity, has a prominent role to play here.
In many locations excellent wind conditions promise inexpensive power generation when compared
with costly imported energy sources such as diesel. Despite political will and considerable potential,
however, market development in these countries has been relatively slow to take off. There is a
shortage of qualified personnel to establish the foundations for the exploitation of wind energy and to
develop projects on their own initiative. The absence of reliable data on wind potential combined with
unattractive energy policy framework conditions deters experienced international investors, who
instead focus their attention on the expanding markets in Western countries.

It is only in recent years that appreciable development of the market potential in developing
countries and emerging economies has taken place. The share of global wind generating capacity
accounted for by Africa, Asia and Latin America reached about 20%
at the end of 2008, with an installed capacity of 26 GW. This is attributable above all to breathtaking
growth in India and China: these two countries alone are responsible for 22 GW. This proves that
economic use of wind energy in developing countries and emerging economies is possible, and also
indicates that there is immense potential that is still unexploited
[4]
.
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The Technology

Wind power is the conversion of wind energy into electricity or mechanical energy using wind
turbines. The power in the wind is extracted by allowing it to blow past moving blades that exert
torque on a rotor. The amount of power transferred is dependent on the rotor size and the wind
speed.
Wind turbines range from small four hundred watt generators for residential use to several megawatt
machines for wind farms and offshore. The small ones have direct drive generators, direct current
output, aeroelastic blades, lifetime bearings and use a vane to point into the wind; while the larger
ones generally have geared power trains, alternating current output, flaps and are actively pointed
into the wind.
Direct drive generators and aeroelastic blades for large wind turbines are being researched and
direct current generators are sometimes used.
Since wind speed is not constant, the annual energy production of a wind converter is dependent on
the capacity factor. A well sited wind generator will have a capacity factor of about 35%. This
compares to typical capacity factors of 90% for nuclear plants, 70% for coal plants, and 30% for
thermal plants.
As a general rule, wind generators are practical where the average wind speed is 4.5 m/s or greater.
Usually sites are pre-selected on the basis of a wind atlas, and validated with on site wind
measurements.
Wind energy is plentiful, renewable, widely distributed, clean, and reduces greenhouse gas
emissions if used to replace fossil-fuel-derived electricity. The intermittency of wind does not create
problems when using wind power at low to moderate penetration levels
[5]
.
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Applications and Efficiency

Most modern wind power is generated in the form of electricity by converting the rotation of turbine
blades into electrical current by means of an electrical generator. In windmills (a much older
technology), wind energy is used to turn mechanical machinery to do physical work, such as
crushing grain or pumping water
[5]
.
Recently, wind energy has also been used to desalinate water. For further information on use of
wind power for water desalination, see Wind Energy - Water Desalination.
Go To Top
Wind Electric

In wind electric systems, the rotor is coupled via a gearing or speed control system to a generator,
which produces electricity. Wind power is used in large scale wind farms for national electrical grids
as well as in small individual turbines for providing electricity to rural residences or grid-isolated
locations.
For small turbines the electricity generated can be used to charge batteries or used directly. Larger,
more sophisticated wind energy converters are used to feed power into the grid.
Small turbines intended for battery charging have a turbine diameter of between 0.5 –5 m and a
power out put of 0.5 – 2 kW. Installed costs vary between US$ 4 – 10 per watt. Medium sized
turbines are used in small independent grids in hybrid with a diesel or PV generator. These turbines
have diameters of between 5-30 m and a power output of 10- 250 kW. Large wind turbines are
normally grid connected. This category includes diameters of 30-90 m and power outputs 0.5 – 3
MW. Total installed global capacity is 58,982 MW of which Europe accounts for 69% (2005).
In the Eastern Africa region experience with wind generators has been isolated and largely driven by
donors and missionaries. In Europe wind energy cost was estimated at $55.80/MWh, coal at
$53.10/MWh and natural gas at $52.50/MWh.
 For further information on costs see section Financing Aspects - Wind Energy
[5]
.
 See also Economic Analyses of Wind Energy Projects
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Wind Pumps
Wind has been harnessed to lift water for more than 2000 years, first in China and the Middle East,
and spreading to Europe. In Africa, settlers historically made use of wind pumps in Namibia and
South Africa and to a lesser extent Zimbabwe and Kenya.With wind pumps, moving air turns a
"rotor", and the rotational motion of the blades is transferred to harmonic motion of the shaft, which is
used to pump water or drive other mechanical devices such as grain mills. Water from wells as deep
as 200m can be pumped to the surface by wind pumps.
In off-grid areas where there is sufficient wind (3-5 m/s) and ground water supply, wind pumps often
offer a cost-effective method for domestic and community water supply, small-scale irrigation and
livestock watering.To select a suitable wind pump, the following information is needed: mean wind
speed, total pumping head, daily water requirement, well draw down, water quality and storage
requirements. In the Eastern Africa region, there are at least 3 manufacturers with a production of
less than 100 units per year. Donors and missionaries have been the main purchasers of both
imported and locally manufactured wind pumps
[5]
.
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Wind Energy - Overview

The first commercial wind energy converters entered service back in the 1980s, although the wind
energy boom as such did not begin until the mid 1990s, when the total installed wind generation
capacity in the world was only 5,000 MW. Since then the installed capacity has increased at double-
digit rates of annual growth. By the end of 2006 global installed capacity had reached 74,233 MW.
Currently the industry is enjoying a boom with 239,000 MW installed globally as at 2011. Almost
without exception, the installed systems are used to generate electricity. The largest market at
present is still Europe, where some 48,545 MW (65%) is installed; of this, 22,000 MW is located in
Germany (figures from end of 2006). Germany is also a leader among the system manufacturers.
Four German companies are counted among the world‟s major manufacturers, and the German
component industry supplies gearboxes, clutches and other assemblies to numerous producers in
other countries.
Even if it remains a matter of dispute whether wind energy would still be competitive without
promotional support, it is beyond doubt that the wind industry has made considerable progress.
While in the early 1990s the cost of systems still averaged almost 1,300 EUR/kW, in the meantime
specific investment costs have fallen to around 900 EUR/kW. The advantages of mass production
have been further boosted by considerable increases in the efficiency of turbines (greater hub
height, larger rotor diameter etc.), which have improved the economics of wind energy. There are
now turbines on the market with a rated output of up to 6 MW, for example. This trend further
illustrates that the growth market in the wind industry is mainly seen in electricity generation and grid
feed-in.
[6]

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Wind Energy for Development

Potentials

"The wind energy potential in many developing and emerging countries is substantial. In many
locations, generating electricity from wind energy presents an economically viable alternative to the
use of conventional fossil energy sources such as coal or diesel. In developing and emerging
countries, wind turbines are an alternative to conventional power stations. In comparison to fossil-
fuelled power stations, wind energy can now be cost-effective in many places, as well as being non-
polluting and reducing dependence on imports of fossil fuels."
Advantages of wind can be:
 Use of an indigenous resource without producing greenhouse gases or other pollution;
 Wind energy contributes to the power supply diversification,
 Wind energy projects can develop local resources in terms of labour, capital and materials,
 Wind projects reinforce the cooperation with different donors including Germany, enhacing local
capacities and technological know-how,
 Wind projects attract new capital and can be included in the new approach of Independent
Power Production (IPP).
[7]

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Challenges

Despite the economic and ecological advantages, so far even good wind resources in developing
and emerging countries have not been used to the desirable extent.
The essential reasons for this are based in the lack of knowledge in the developing and emerging
countries.
From the view of international wind energy companies, beside the difficulties of raising of capital and
risk covering, the barriers for private investment are especially:
 Lack of information on foreign markets
 Lack of knowledge of the energy-sector framework conditions and support mechanisms
 Insufficient wind energy legal framework (technical and economical conditions for feeding wind-
generated electricity into power grids, permit procedure, ...)
 Lack of qualified staff, especially in the field of service/maintenance
[8]
. Technicians and buyers
are often unfamiliar with wind technology, and in remote locations installements often break
down because of a lack of servicing, spare parts, or trained manpower to administer them. In
reality, wind pumps are less maintenance intensive than diesel pumps. However, the wind pump
technology is "strange" to many people and there is a need to train maintenance staff where
pumps are installed.
 Infrastructure to support the installation, commissioning and maintenance of wind generators is
not developed. Users and technicians are generally unaccustomed to the technology.
 Investment Cost. Although the lifetime cost of wind is often less than diesel or petrol-powered
pumps, the investment cost of purchasing a wind pump is usually higher than that of diesel
pumps. Groups purchasing water supplies often have limited funds and cannot take a long-term
view toward the technology.
 Wind energy does not have as consistent an output as fuel-fired power plants. Small-scale wind
generators require battery storage to allow usage in periods of low or no wind. For grid
connected systems, a stable grid is required to act as the storage. Wind pumps require water
storage.
 Wind generators are designed to work over a given range of wind speeds, usually 4– 12m/s.
This means that the technology can only be used in areas with sufficient winds
[5]
.
Go To Top
Wind Capacities
Global Installed Wind Capacity:

Add caption here


1. A brief history of the development of wind energy from antiquity until today
Since antiquity, mankind has been using wind energy; it is thus not a new idea. For centuries, windmills and
watermills were the only source of motive power for a number of mechanical applications, some of which are even
still used today.
Humans have been using wind energy in their daily work for some 4,000 years. Sails revolutionized seafaring, which
no longer had to make do with muscle power. In 1700 B.C., King Hammurabi of Babylon used wind powered scoops
to irrigate Mesopotamia.
Aside from pumps for irrigation or drainage, windmills were mostly used to ground grain. Thus, we still speak of
"windmills" today, even when we are talking about machines that do not actually grind, such as sawmills and hammer
mills.

Historical Dutch windmill, © Bundesverband WindEnergie e.V.



American windmill used for water pumping, © Bundesverband WindEnergie e.V.


But the wind turbines that generate electricity today are new and innovative. Their success story began with a few
technical innovations, such as the use of synthetics to make rotor blades. Developments in the field of aerodynamics,
mechanical/electrical engineering, control technology, and electronics provide the technical basis for wind turbines
commonly used today.
Since 1980, wind turbines have been becoming larger and more efficient at rates otherwise only seen in computer
technology.



2. The development of modern wind turbines since 1900
The major success story is wind turbines that generate electricity and feed it directly to the grid. They usually have
two or three rotor blades, while horizontal axis, a nacelle with a rotor hub, gears, and a generator, all of which can be
turned into and out of the wind. The rotor is positioned in front of the tower in the direction the wind is blowing
(windward as opposed to leeward).
In 1920 and 1926, Albert Betz calculated the maximum wind turbine performance, now called the "Betz limit", and the
optimal geometry of rotor blades.
In 1950, Professor Ulrich Hütter applied modern aerodynamics and modern fiber optics technology to the construction
of rotor blades on the wind turbines in his experimental system.
Poul la Cour of Denmark developed a wind turbine that generated direct current. In 1958, one of his pupils named
Johannes Juul developed the "Danish Concept," which allowed alternating current to be fed to the grid for the first
time. This concept very quickly won over. Today, almost half of all wind turbines operate according to this principle.
In the 1980s, the Danes developed small turbines with a nominal output of 20 kW to 100 kW. Thanks to state
subsidies, these turbines were set up on farms and on the coast to provide distributed power, with the excess power
not consumed locally being fed to the power grid.


In other countries, research focused on large systems, two examples being NASA's research in the US or the
German GroWiAn project. Unfortunately, these plans turned out to be too ambitious. After only a few hundred
operating hours, tests at the research facilities were discontinued.



3. The physics of wind energy: what is the useful potential of wind energy?
Power is available from the kinetic energy of the mass of air moving in wind. The amount of energy that wind carries
increases by a factor of two as its speed increases and is proportional to the mass of air that passes through the
plane of the area swept by the rotors. As power is the product of energy (work) within a given time frame, the power
of wind increases by a factor of three as the speed of wind increases. Because of the low density of air (Pair=1.25 kg /
m3), the power density of wind is much lower than that of water power (Pwater=1000 kg / m3), for instance. The power
that can be harvested from wind is calculated in terms of the swept area -- for a horizontal axis wind turbine (HAWT),
the area through which the rotor blades pass. As a result, if the diameter of the rotor blades is doubled, the power
increases by a factor of four. If the wind speed then doubles, power increases by a factor of eight.
In 1920, Albert Betz demonstrated in his theory of the closed stream tube that a wind turbine can only convert a
maximum of 16/27 or 59% of the energy in wind into electricity. This optimum performance cP is attained when a
wind turbine's rotors slow the wind down by one third.
Current wind turbines convert up to 50% of energy in wind into electricity, thus coming very close to the theoretical
limit.



4. Comparison of resistance and lift
Like some of these simple turbines with small output (up to 2 kW), historic windmills operate according to the principle
of resistance. Here, a rotor with a vertical axis resists the wind, thus reducing wind speed. The maximum
performance of such wind turbines is 12%. The performance of wind turbines based on the principle of lift is much
greater at around 50% due to the relatively high lift-to-drag ratio.
The power coefficient (performance) of a wind turbine can be improved by optimizing the tip speed ratio (lambda), i.e.
the ratio of wind velocity to the velocity of the tip of the rotor blade. If the tip speed ratio = 1, the rotor has many
blades, generates great torque, and runs at slow speeds. If the tip speed ratio is higher, the rotor has few blades,
generates less torque, and runs at higher velocity.
The performance of a rotor is not, however, relative to the number of rotor blades in principle (cf. Betz theory in the
next section).



5. The aerodynamics of wind turbines
The power coefficient of a wind turbine's rotor blade is calculated according to the laws of airfoil theory. As with the
wing of an airplane, air passing over a rotor blade creates an aerodynamic profile with low pressure above the wing,
pulling the wing up, and overpressure below, pushing it up.
The difference in pressures exerts a lift on the wing vertical to the direction in which the wind is blowing and creates
resistance in the direction of the wind (incident flow). For a wind turbine's rotor blade rotating around the rotor axis,
the incident flow is the result of the geometric addition of wind velocity v and the circumferential speed u, which
increases in linear fashion the longer the blade is. In other words, the lift exerted on the rotor blade is not only the
result of wind velocity, but mostly out of the blade's own rotation. Speeds at the tip of the blade are thus very great.
Current wind turbines have rotor tips travelling at velocities six times faster than the speed of the wind. The tip speed
ratio is thus lambda = 6. The rotor tip can then be traveling at velocities of 60 m/s to 80 m/s.
The energy that the rotor harvests is equivalent to the lifting force in the swept area minus the resistance force in the
swept area. The forces applied in the direction of the axis drive the rotor, which then not only harvests the energy of
the wind, but also exerts a load on the tower and the foundation.
The Betz Theory allows us to calculate the optimal geometry of a rotor blade (thickness of blade and blade twisting).



6. Types of wind turbines
Wind turbines are categorized according to a number of criteria:
The position of the axis (horizontal or vertical) is obvious. Horizontal axis wind turbines (HAWTs) can be further
divided into those with rotors rotating in front of the tower (windward) and those rotating behind the tower (leeward)
vis-à-vis the direction of the wind. The tip speed ratio and the number of blades determine the response of the drive,
and hence how the wind turbine can be used.
In modern wind turbines that generate electricity, there are different types of nacelles that turn on top of the tower to
face the wind. There are turbines with gearboxes and without and nacelles whose components (bearings, gears,
generator) are positioned separately or have multiple functions integrated in one component (bedding of rotor shaft in
the gearbox).
Poles (generally guyed) are usually only used for small wind turbines (up to 10 kW). Free-standing towers are either
steel or concrete tubular towers or pylons.



Modern wind turbines
Modern wind turbines are complex technical systems that combine the theoretical basics of a number of fields:
Aerodynamics, lightweight construction >> rotor blades, dynamics, overall system)
Mechanical and plant engineering >> machines with shafts, gearboxes, bearings, brakes, and tower
Electrical engineering >> generator, frequency converter, mains connection, electrical lines
Electronics, instrumentation and controls, and computer science >> system controls, remote monitoring,
sensors
Construction engineering >> foundation, access roads
Meteorology >> design, yield



7. Concepts of wind turbines to generate electricity
At present, three concepts for the feed of electricity to the power grid dominate the market. The following table
provides an overview of the differences and common ground between these types.
 The "Danish concept"
 The pitch concept with a synchronous generator
 The pitch concept with a doubly fed asynchronous generator


In the Danish concept, which completely dominated the market up to the mid-1990s, the asynchronous generator
"naturally" limits power production in strong wind or gusts. It restricts the speed of the system to the frequency of the
power grid, so that the rotor cannot turn faster when the wind blows stronger. In this concept, the rotor blades are
designed to create turbulence at a certain wind velocity, preventing the lift from accelerating rotation any further even
though the blades are not themselves pitched. Johannes Juul developed this concept.
The use of an asynchronous generator also eliminates the synchronization needed for a synchronous generator. In
other words, the system is simple and robust.
The pitched concepts developed from 1990 to 2000 turn the rotor blades in and out of the wind along their axis.
Depending on the wind velocity, the machines run at various speeds. The blades are turned out of the wind to limit
power generation when the wind becomes too strong (above 12 m/s). The blades are only turned into the wind to
start the system. Under normal conditions, the turbines are run at a set optimal angle for the best power generation,
with the speed of rotation increasing until nominal output is attained. From then on, the pitch of the blades is activated
to keep power production constant.
In the pitch concept with a synchronous generator (concept 2), a frequency converter ensures that the fluctuations in
electricity caused by the changing speed of the turbine are nonetheless fed to the grid at the frequency of the grid.
In the concepts of a doubly fed asynchronous generator (concept 3), this is not necessary for all of the electricity
generated, but rather only for the share coming from the generator's rotor. As this share only makes up around 40%
of nominal output, the converter can be smaller.



8. From the drawing board to a working wind turbine
Wind turbines only appear to be simple constructions. There are many steps from the draft to construction before the
turbine can begin generating environmentally friendly energy in the field.
Wind is not constant, so wind turbines do not always run at nominal output. The amount of energy generated is below
the amount theoretically possible. One speaks of a capacity factor, which is the yearly yield in kilowatt-hours divided
by the product of the wind turbine's nominal output and the 8,760 hours in a year.. Depending on the location, the
capacity factor can range from 30% in coastal areas with great wind to around 18% at inland locations with less wind.
It is true that wind energy is not available at all times. However, the wind energy fed to the power grid does make up
part of the baseload. The large number of wind turbines already installed in Germany (17,500 as of December 31,
2005) ensures that wind power is always being fed to the grid somewhere. Over large areas, some 10% of the
nominal power of all wind turbines can be expected to be fed to the grid as constant output.

Wind farm Sintfeld for electricity production, one of the largest wind farms in
Germany, © WWEA e.V.




Sintfeld Wind Farm



This figure will rise even further once the offshore wind parks currently planned are finally built. The same holds true
for additional wind turbines and other countries in Europe, which will also be feeding power to the European grid.
In other words, conventional central power plants can actually be decommissioned and replaced by renewable
energy for good. Intelligence demand management systems and the development of forecast systems for wind
conditions will also help reduce the need for conventional power plant capacity.



9. Controlled power: nominal capacity and control
If we speak of a 1.5 megawatt wind turbine, we are describing the generator's maximum output -- its nominal
capacity. 1.5 megawatts is equivalent to 1500 kW or 2,039 horsepower. The turbine generates that much power at a
specific wind velocity. This nominal wind velocity is generally between 11 and 15 m/s (equivalent to 40-54 km/h).
Wind turbines begin generating power at the cut-on speed of around 2.5-4 m/s and cut off at wind velocity of 25-34
m/s. Modern control technology is used when wind turbines are connected to the grid to ensure a “soft”, gradual
transition. If the wind is too strong, output is reduced to ensure that a constant level of power is fed to the grid.
Modern turbines also switch off slowly during storms to prevent power output from disappearing suddenly. This
gradual transition helps prevent disturbances in transit grids.
Control
To prevent wind turbines from overloading and to ensure that they have constant output, part of the power has to be
throttled when the wind velocity exceeds nominal wind velocity. The following two principles are the most commonly
used methods of controlling power output:
 Stall control (aerodynamic turbulence): if the wind velocity exceeds a certain limit, the rotor blades are
designed to cause a turbulence at the edge of the blade to limit speed. In active stall control, the pitch of the
rotor blades can also be changed.
 Pitch control: Electronics and hydraulics are used to infinitely adjust the pitch of each blade. This reduces
the lift, so that the rotor continues to generate power at nominal capacity even at high wind speeds.